Professor of Comparative Literature
He has also taught as a visiting professor at the Free University Berlin and at the University of Toulouse, and has been the director of Hampshire's semester-long study abroad program. He has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century European literature; on biography and literary portraiture; on testimony, Holocaust literature, and Berlin Jewish history; and on debates about education. His book Closed Encounters: Literary Politics and Public Culture was published by the University of Minnesota Press.
Some of his most recent publications are "Beckett in Time of Crisis," "Totem and Taboo: The Perverse Writings of Ka-Tzetnik 135633," "The Lure of the Archive: The Atlas Projects of Walid Raad," "Migrant Visions: The Scheunenviertel and Boyle Heights, Los Angeles," “Twemlow’s Abyss,” "Narrative Tensions: The Eyewitness and the Archive,” "Falling Under an Evil Influence," "The Death and Discontents of Theory," and "Sociable Robots und das Posthumane." He is currently working on a study of the archive in contemporary thought and art.
His teaching interests include 19th- and 20th-century comparative literature (German, French, British), critical theory, Holocaust Studies, modernism, Jewish Studies, psychoanalysis, and philosophy.
Shortly after their arrival in February and before the start of the German semester in the beginning of April, students enroll in an intensive German language course (5 days/week and 4 hours/day) in accordance with their German language proficiency at a leading foreign language academy in Berlin. With the start of the German semester students may choose to continue their language study by enrolling in a language course offered at the Freie University in Berlin (4 to 6 hours/week).
Although often writing in traditional forms such as the short story, the anecdote, or the allegory, each of the writers we will discuss raises difficult problems of interpretation insofar as they disturb the conventional limitations of their genre. Our emphasis will be the exploration of the "disturbances" that these writers create; the uneasiness which demands that we search again, read again, and continue to question our presuppositions not only about literature, but concerning our entire view of the world. Readings may include Joyce, Kafka, Stein, Woolf, Beckett, Schulz, Borges, Baldwin, O'Connor, and Murakami.